13/01/2012 World News Today


13/01/2012

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This is BBC World News Today with me Zeinab Badawi.

:00:09.:00:15.

Could France be about to lose its triple A credit rating? President

:00:15.:00:18.

Sarkozy holds crisis talks with ministers, as fears mount that the

:00:18.:00:23.

downgrade could place further pressure on the eurozone.

:00:23.:00:26.

Is the Pakistani government on a dangerous collision course with the

:00:26.:00:29.

military? Growing public tension but government ministers play down

:00:30.:00:36.

talk of a political crisis. you're referring to the recent

:00:36.:00:42.

whatever is going on in the country. It will not affect. In democracy we

:00:42.:00:46.

are in transition. So ups and downs will be there.

:00:46.:00:49.

Day five of protests in Nigeria over the scrapping of the fuel

:00:49.:00:54.

subsidy. Now the government makes an offer to the unions. Will it be

:00:54.:00:58.

enough? Also coming up in the programme,

:00:58.:01:02.

the increasing danger posed by space debris. The Russian space

:01:02.:01:04.

craft Phobos-Grunt should come crashing back to earth this weekend

:01:04.:01:14.
:01:14.:01:25.

Hello and welcome. The value of the euro has fallen

:01:25.:01:28.

with more bad news for the eurozone. France is braced this evening for

:01:29.:01:31.

the possibility that its credit rating may be downgraded by the

:01:31.:01:38.

Standard & Poor's agency. Nicolas Sarkozy is reported to be in crisis

:01:38.:01:42.

talks with his ministers ahead of expected announcement. Fears over

:01:42.:01:44.

the eurozone debt crisis have also been heightened with talks between

:01:45.:01:48.

Greece and the banks it owes money to breaking down. Our chief

:01:48.:01:53.

economics correspondent Hugh Pym reports.

:01:53.:01:57.

2011 was the year to the good for the eurozone and the health of the

:01:57.:02:00.

single currency. Riots increase other government was facing

:02:00.:02:05.

crippling debts and tried to impose spending cuts and tensions over how

:02:05.:02:09.

to safeguard -- safeguard the euro but another blow is looming, the

:02:09.:02:13.

downgrading of France's credit rating. If they are downgraded, it

:02:13.:02:19.

will raise the cost of borrowing at France has to pay to markets. Above

:02:19.:02:23.

Germany and the UK, which have triple-A ratings, and it will be

:02:23.:02:29.

more difficult to rescue crew eurozone, although it may still be

:02:29.:02:34.

possible. Here are the key figures from the French economy which have

:02:34.:02:38.

worried the markets. Government debt is 90% this year. The deficit,

:02:38.:02:44.

new borrowing, 5.5%. The French government is currently having to

:02:44.:02:51.

pay more than 3% to borrow, while at the UK is below 2%. If France's

:02:51.:02:56.

credit rating is downgraded, the impact could be as much political

:02:56.:03:00.

as economic. Some see the triple A rating as a badge of national

:03:00.:03:04.

prestige, and are losing it, critics will argue could be seen as

:03:04.:03:08.

a major blow to President Sarkozy. In a year when he seeking re-

:03:08.:03:13.

election. Fears that France might be downgraded emerge before

:03:13.:03:19.

Christmas as Nicolas Sarkozy's relations with David Cameron cold.

:03:19.:03:24.

They criticised the UK finances. don't want to be given any lessons.

:03:24.:03:28.

The economic situation in Great Britain is very worrying and from

:03:28.:03:32.

an economic standpoint, we would prefer to be French and British.

:03:33.:03:36.

But its front which is firmly under a financial spotlight this evening.

:03:36.:03:40.

-- France. Speculation that one up ratings agency will make an

:03:40.:03:44.

announcement, and with talks with private investors and the Greek

:03:44.:03:48.

government over how to manage the burden having broken down, a

:03:48.:03:54.

familiar cloud is hovering over the eurozone.

:03:54.:03:59.

Let's talk more about this. Matthew price joins us. Does this look like

:03:59.:04:06.

it's going to happen? It's the sense we getting from French

:04:06.:04:11.

government officials. In the last few minutes, the French agency, AFP,

:04:11.:04:17.

is reporting yes, indeed, France is being downgraded by Standard & Poor

:04:17.:04:21.

and it fits with the general assumption, the general words

:04:21.:04:26.

coming out of Standard & Poor, the ratings agency, in the last few

:04:26.:04:33.

months, but they put France on a downgrade and add some point,

:04:33.:04:37.

expected they would do this. Yes, it looks like this is happening.

:04:37.:04:41.

Matthew, it's not just the fact it's been downgraded. It is the

:04:41.:04:45.

extent, the amount by which it has downgraded, which is also important

:04:45.:04:51.

for country. Absolutely. If France get downgraded at the next couple

:04:51.:04:58.

of hours, by one are not, it is manageable. It is difficult

:04:58.:05:02.

politically for President Sarkozy. And economically, it will almost

:05:02.:05:10.

certainly make a change. It will force up the French borrowing rate.

:05:10.:05:14.

It to probably wouldn't be catastrophic. It did get downgraded

:05:14.:05:18.

by two notches, you start to get into more uncertain territory, not

:05:18.:05:24.

just for France, but remember they are one of the key economic backers

:05:24.:05:32.

of the eurozone's current temporary rescue fund, but BFSS, and France

:05:32.:05:36.

is the second biggest backer of that fund. Germany is the biggest.

:05:36.:05:41.

That fund has so far also had a triple A rating. There are those

:05:41.:05:47.

concerned in Brussels tonight that if France gets downgrade it, so too

:05:47.:05:51.

will the euro zones temporary bail- out fund, and therefore that, too,

:05:51.:05:57.

will pile on the pressure. I can say that the wires have confirmed,

:05:57.:06:02.

according to the French finance minister, France indeed has lost

:06:02.:06:10.

its triple-A credit. That is indeed quite a blow to the country. It's

:06:10.:06:14.

not just an economic matter, but huge political tests for President

:06:14.:06:20.

Sarkozy. Ahead of this, but it's going to have shockwaves throughout

:06:20.:06:24.

the eurozone that such a major economy in the eurozone has lost

:06:24.:06:31.

its triple-A rating. Absolutely. The second biggest economy in the

:06:31.:06:36.

eurozone. One of the biggest economies in the world. Also, not

:06:36.:06:38.

just economically important within the eurozone, but vitally

:06:38.:06:44.

politically important as well. President Sarkozy and Angela Merkel

:06:44.:06:48.

had basically been a leading the way in terms of how Europe gets out

:06:48.:06:56.

of this mess. I think, what has been interesting, the French have

:06:56.:07:04.

been trying to bring in austerity measures that they felt they could

:07:04.:07:08.

get past the public in the run-up to the French elections in April

:07:08.:07:11.

and May. Measures they felt could get past the French public which

:07:11.:07:16.

would not be terribly unpopular, which wouldn't necessarily stop

:07:16.:07:19.

President Sarkozy getting re- elected but the same time, would

:07:19.:07:23.

satisfy the market and it clear I have not satisfied one of the

:07:23.:07:28.

ratings agencies. Matthew, thank you very much, with that news that

:07:28.:07:34.

France has lost its triple A credit rating.

:07:34.:07:36.

The political temperature in Pakistan is nearing boiling point.

:07:36.:07:39.

On Monday the ruling party faces a confidence vote. The prime minister

:07:39.:07:42.

Yusuf Raza Gilani told parliament it had to choose between democracy

:07:42.:07:44.

and dictatorship. A series of public disputes has brought

:07:44.:07:48.

relations between the government and the military to an all-time low.

:07:48.:07:50.

The Supreme Court could also get involved, with a deadline looming

:07:50.:07:54.

for the government to re-open political corruption cases. Here's

:07:54.:08:04.
:08:04.:08:07.

A nation gripped by a political crisis. They have fallen heroes.

:08:07.:08:11.

The funerals today for two Pakistani policemen. Killed by

:08:11.:08:16.

militants. As well as battling that enemy, the government here is

:08:16.:08:22.

locked in conflict with the army and the Supreme Court. At

:08:22.:08:27.

Parliament, another crisis session. But Pakistan's Interior Minister

:08:27.:08:33.

insists the government will serve out its full term until 2013.

:08:33.:08:39.

democracy, we are in a transition. Ups and downs will be there. Yes,

:08:39.:08:44.

we had a bumpy flight but we will land in a nice way. Aren't you

:08:44.:08:49.

having a real crisis now with the army? Open speculation of a coup.

:08:49.:08:56.

would not say crisis, no. A difference of opinion. You can't

:08:56.:09:02.

say there is a distress going on. That we are not on the same page.

:09:02.:09:07.

Why are their statement between you and the army so hostile? I think

:09:07.:09:10.

everybody has a right to explain their position so let's put it in

:09:10.:09:14.

the normal way. Do you think this government will be in position next

:09:14.:09:21.

week? I say, in the 2013. Pakistan's Interior Minister is

:09:21.:09:25.

sending a message that the tension can be diffused and he is adamant

:09:25.:09:29.

the government will survive, but with the army and government

:09:29.:09:33.

engaging in Opal verbal warfare, some here are writing of this

:09:33.:09:43.
:09:43.:09:45.

administration and are predicting Inside Parliament, an impassioned

:09:45.:09:49.

speech from Prime Minister Gilani. We have made mistakes, he said.

:09:49.:09:53.

That doesn't mean a democracy should survive. If the worst comes

:09:53.:10:01.

to the worst, we will go before the Are the army is on the warpath

:10:01.:10:06.

because of a memo sent to the Americans last May. Asking for help

:10:06.:10:10.

to rein in the generals. Pakistan's president of denies he was behind

:10:10.:10:16.

it. The tanks have not been sent in this time. But experts believe the

:10:16.:10:22.

army will try to get the government out by other means. Pakistan

:10:22.:10:26.

Supreme Court might do the job for it. It could disqualify the Prime

:10:26.:10:30.

Minister over a long-running corruption case. Judges will

:10:30.:10:36.

consider that on Monday. Joining me now from Oxford is

:10:36.:10:38.

Professor Ifitikhar Malik, a leading analyst on Pakistani

:10:38.:10:46.

politics. Collision course clearly between the ruling party and the

:10:46.:10:50.

military. Do you suppose that we are talking about a true

:10:50.:10:54.

confrontation here? I think there is an element of confrontation but

:10:54.:10:58.

I don't think there will be a military coup. The army generals

:10:58.:11:04.

Pope control Pakistan for most of its history, will try to neutralise

:11:04.:11:09.

opposition through their own technical weaknesses which are

:11:09.:11:12.

exposed when Osama bin Laden was murdered. And Iran incident

:11:12.:11:19.

happened, near the Pakistani naval base. And it became a vulnerable to

:11:19.:11:23.

attack from the Libyans. And politicians in the government will

:11:23.:11:29.

try to assert their authority, their control over a military

:11:29.:11:33.

institution, so there have been imbalances within Pakistan, the

:11:33.:11:36.

military has been calling the shots. The military does not want to take

:11:36.:11:41.

the back seat now. Politicians have of course made mistakes, but sadly,

:11:41.:11:48.

in Pakistan history, which is repeated, I think all the three

:11:48.:11:52.

major institutions, judiciary, army and the government, have to cool

:11:52.:11:58.

down the Temmerman, sit back and develop a consensus. We have a vote

:11:58.:12:05.

of confidence next week. The likely it is early elections.

:12:05.:12:09.

possibility is the opposition will come around to support the

:12:09.:12:12.

Government because if this government goes, the People's Party

:12:12.:12:17.

goes, the opposition will also go in the sense that the military will

:12:17.:12:20.

then commander position and then it might be another few years before

:12:20.:12:25.

another political government is established, so politics will be

:12:25.:12:30.

the loser and the judiciary, and the media and civil society will be

:12:30.:12:35.

losers, so let's hope history does not repeat itself. Let the system

:12:35.:12:41.

work, let the system and rectify its own problems. And that the

:12:41.:12:44.

politicians sit together and resolve these issues through the

:12:44.:12:47.

parliament. And I think the judiciary should other politicians

:12:47.:12:55.

resolve this conflict. Thank you very much. The Nigerian government

:12:55.:12:58.

says its maiden of the to the trade unions after five days of strikes

:12:58.:13:04.

over the scrapping of a petrol subsidy. The protests have been

:13:04.:13:07.

suspended for two days to allow more talks with the government.

:13:07.:13:10.

Tens of thousands of Nigerians have come out in protest since Monday

:13:10.:13:13.

after the removal of the fuel subsidy led to petrol prices more

:13:13.:13:15.

than doubling. Mike Wooldridge looks at the challenges facing the

:13:15.:13:22.

government of President Goodluck Jonathan.

:13:22.:13:26.

The immediate crisis is over the price of fuel. Nigerians are

:13:26.:13:29.

protesting against the removal of subsidies that at long kept prices

:13:29.:13:34.

low. The savings intended for badly needed road improvement and other

:13:34.:13:39.

public projects. But prices more than doubled overnight. Leading

:13:39.:13:44.

other costs to soar, as well. For many people, it's the last straw

:13:44.:13:50.

for the fuel subsidy represent a contribution to daily lives in a

:13:50.:13:54.

very difficult economic situation for a lot of Nigerians. Removing

:13:54.:14:00.

the subsidy is something which is seen to simply be quite unfair and

:14:00.:14:06.

it puts pressure on attack situation for Nigerians. But these

:14:06.:14:10.

protests come amid an even more serious crisis once again

:14:10.:14:16.

highlighted the North-South divide. In Africa's most populous nation.

:14:17.:14:24.

This is the leader of a radical Islamist groups, with its roots in

:14:24.:14:28.

the Muslim north. Its actions have led some Christians in the north to

:14:28.:14:33.

flee southwards to where Christians are in the majority. They are

:14:33.:14:37.

attacking and trying to provoke a tension between Muslims and

:14:37.:14:43.

Christians for that they have recently attacked churches, killing

:14:43.:14:46.

Christians for the as falling to Al-Qaeda, I don't think they have

:14:46.:14:51.

got a link. But I think it is very convenient for them and the

:14:51.:14:55.

government to claim that there is a link. A politically orchestrated

:14:56.:15:00.

violence is nothing new but over the last year, and rest has focused

:15:00.:15:04.

on the North Pole. These are the places where the group has carried

:15:04.:15:08.

out attacks and amid growing concerns about retaliation,

:15:08.:15:14.

violence has occurred in the south. Five people were killed in a mosque.

:15:14.:15:20.

New troubles all round for a nation that wants to be recognised for its

:15:20.:15:23.

huge economic potential, not least because of its oil. Nigeria has

:15:24.:15:33.
:15:34.:15:36.

been pushed to the brink many times I have been joined in the studio by

:15:36.:15:40.

the Nigerian novelist and journalist, Mohammed Umar. These

:15:40.:15:44.

talks going on between the trade unions and the government, do you

:15:44.:15:47.

think we're going to see some kind of compromise emerged, that the

:15:47.:15:52.

government will have to shift a bit? I don't think so. I think this

:15:52.:15:56.

is the mother of all deadlocks. For the first time in history we have a

:15:56.:15:59.

position where the majority of the people are saying they don't like

:15:59.:16:05.

what is happening and the government is digging in. Even if,

:16:05.:16:09.

assuming that the Trade Union Congress and the Nigerian Labour

:16:09.:16:14.

Congress agree to one or two things come with the government, I don't

:16:14.:16:20.

think the mass protest will stop, so it is one thing for the trade

:16:20.:16:22.

union representatives to agree with the government, it is another thing

:16:22.:16:28.

for the people on the ground to stop protesting because if people

:16:28.:16:35.

started protesting before the trade union representatives took over the

:16:35.:16:40.

leadership. And the person taking the flak, very much President

:16:40.:16:45.

Goodluck Jonathan. They have even taken to calling him back look

:16:45.:16:50.

Jennison in Nigeria. Yes, it is rather unfortunate but someone has

:16:50.:16:55.

to take the blame. The level of corruption in Nigeria is

:16:55.:17:00.

unbelievable and it is not the corruption, it is the weird is

:17:00.:17:05.

displayed. There is no shame in the way they display the corruption.

:17:05.:17:12.

For example in the 2012 budget they said they would allocate 6.5

:17:12.:17:15.

million for food, for the President and the Vice President. It is

:17:15.:17:20.

obscene. So this is tapping into that is content. If the instability

:17:20.:17:25.

were to get further out of hand, could the army moving? That is an

:17:25.:17:29.

option, and dangerous scenario because something has to be done.

:17:29.:17:34.

Whatever happens in Nigeria will not remain in Nigeria. It is a big

:17:34.:17:38.

country, it cannot afford to fail. 150 million people, something has

:17:38.:17:42.

to be done to stabilise the situation. Mohammed Umar, thank you

:17:42.:17:47.

for coming to talk to us about the situation in your native Nigeria.

:17:47.:17:51.

Staying in Africa, in South Sudan, dozens of people are still being

:17:51.:17:54.

killed in tribal clashes and thousands are being displayed --

:17:54.:17:58.

displaced in the latest violence more than 50 people, mostly women

:17:58.:18:02.

and children, were killed on Wednesday in continuing tit-for-tat

:18:02.:18:08.

attacks and cattle raids between the Lou Nuer and Murle people in

:18:08.:18:12.

the state of Jonglei. Many people have fled the violence and are in

:18:12.:18:16.

urgent need of humanitarian assistance. We report from

:18:16.:18:18.

neighbouring nine -- neighbouring Nairobi.

:18:18.:18:22.

These are the people caught in the middle of South Sudan's cycle of

:18:22.:18:27.

violence, slowly returning home after fleeing for their lives when

:18:27.:18:30.

the tribe burnt their homes and stole their cattle. The aid

:18:30.:18:34.

agencies are left to pick up the pieces but with an estimated 60,000

:18:34.:18:38.

people living in camps or hiding in the bush, officials admit they are

:18:39.:18:44.

struggling to cope. Today we are operating four helicopters taking

:18:44.:18:54.
:18:54.:18:55.

food into Gumarok, Tibor, to assist the population. It is not enough.

:18:55.:18:59.

We need more and much bigger helicopters that will be able to do

:18:59.:19:05.

this more efficiently. Ethnic tensions over cattle and territory

:19:05.:19:07.

in the region have existed for decades but the most recent

:19:07.:19:14.

violence started last August when Murle fighters raided Lou Nuer

:19:14.:19:18.

villages, killing 600 people, abducting children and stealing

:19:18.:19:22.

25,000 cattle. The lunar and retaliated in late December and

:19:22.:19:27.

early January with as many as 6,000 men attacking the main Murle town

:19:27.:19:31.

of Tibor. Extra UN peacekeepers and soldiers were rushed to the Urdd --

:19:31.:19:37.

to the area and it was declared a disaster zone. In the latest

:19:37.:19:40.

attacks the Murle struck back, raising -- raiding Lou Nuer

:19:40.:19:44.

villages killing at least 50 people and making off with thousands of

:19:44.:19:48.

cattle. All the violence is happening in a country which is

:19:48.:19:53.

just six months old. There was euphoria in March in South Sudan

:19:53.:19:59.

when it broke away from the north after years of civil war but it was

:19:59.:20:04.

a messy divorce and coursed tension with the North, which still exists,

:20:04.:20:10.

mainly over territory, division of money. The government of South

:20:10.:20:14.

Saddam must work hard to avoid a return to civil war but it must

:20:14.:20:18.

build bridges between the rival ethnic groups to keep this fragile

:20:18.:20:26.

country together -- South Sudan. The Chinese speaking world is

:20:26.:20:29.

gearing up for major political change this year. More than 60

:20:30.:20:34.

years on from the civil war that split China and Taiwan, both are

:20:34.:20:38.

facing leadership changes. In the autumn China will see its Communist

:20:38.:20:41.

Party select a new generation of leaders behind closed doors but

:20:41.:20:46.

just 100 miles offshore, Taiwan holds open and democratic elections

:20:46.:20:51.

this weekend. Many in China are watching closely as Damian

:20:51.:20:55.

Grammaticas reports from the Taiwanese capital, Taipei.

:20:55.:21:00.

Soaring above Taipei, the second tallest building in the world,

:21:00.:21:04.

built to put Taiwan, so long overshadowed by China, on the map.

:21:04.:21:09.

Today, its observatory is full of Chinese tourists. Curious about

:21:09.:21:17.

this island their country claims. Today, what they see is this, and

:21:17.:21:21.

noisy campaign, democracy happening in the Chinese world just 100 miles

:21:21.:21:27.

from China's shores. TRANSLATION: I have seen many banners and flags.

:21:27.:21:30.

It looks really interesting. We don't have anything like this in

:21:30.:21:35.

China. Taiwan has only just begun welcoming Chinese tourists after

:21:35.:21:40.

decades of separation. Two million came last year. This is Asia's

:21:40.:21:45.

biggest store. Christian Dior is building the biggest store in the

:21:45.:21:51.

world here, targeting the visitors and China's new spending power.

:21:51.:21:54.

Taiwan's president says the island has to open to China, to recognise

:21:54.:22:00.

its economic rise. He has made ending decades of its hostility his

:22:00.:22:05.

priority. What is the importance of that, of building closer relations

:22:05.:22:12.

with China? Peace, peace. PCS says, and prosperity. But at what price?

:22:12.:22:16.

The rise of China is leading to some really difficult questions for

:22:16.:22:21.

Taiwan. Does this island have any choice but to hitch its economic

:22:21.:22:25.

future to its giant neighbour? Well that ensure Taiwan's continued

:22:25.:22:30.

prosperity, or will it threatened the island's hard-won freedoms?

:22:30.:22:34.

Taiwan's opposition fears China could dominate Taiwan, threaten its

:22:34.:22:40.

democracy. China is a source of uncertainties for the region and

:22:40.:22:46.

for Taiwan as well. Since the civil war split, the two have taken very

:22:46.:22:51.

different paths. China insists it will take Taiwan by force if

:22:51.:22:57.

necessary. In China the political system remains frozen. President Hu

:22:57.:23:01.

Jintao will this way -- will this year make way for a new Communist

:23:01.:23:06.

leader to be chosen by the party in secret. But can Taiwan influence

:23:06.:23:12.

China? Yes, it can, says this man, who did -- Hutu decades ago was a

:23:12.:23:15.

leader of the pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square.

:23:15.:23:23.

I have been hearing this so much from Chinese tourists, who say when

:23:23.:23:30.

will the day come for us so that we can choose? -- our own leaders?

:23:30.:23:34.

Communist Party says China is not ready or suited for democracy.

:23:34.:23:38.

Taiwan hopes its example can prove otherwise. Many here fear the

:23:38.:23:45.

independence they now enjoy could be crushed asked China rises.

:23:45.:23:50.

It was supposed to be heading to Mars to take rock samples from one

:23:50.:23:54.

of the Red Planet's moons but some time this weekend the Russian

:23:54.:23:58.

spacecraft -- spacecraft Phobos- Grunt is expected to come crashing

:23:58.:24:02.

back to earth following a serious malfunction. No one knows when it

:24:02.:24:06.

will return, or more importantly, where it will hit, but its imminent

:24:06.:24:11.

re-entry has highlighted the increasing danger of space debris

:24:11.:24:16.

as undersides correspondent David Shukman reports. -- as a science

:24:16.:24:21.

correspondent reports. A swarm of dots circling the Earth,

:24:21.:24:26.

15,002 are all rockets and other junk. An orbiting rubbish dump

:24:26.:24:29.

created after half-a-century of space flight. Last November a

:24:29.:24:33.

Russian launch added yet another piece of debris. The mission was

:24:33.:24:37.

meant to fly to Mars. We did get off the ground but something went

:24:37.:24:41.

wrong and now the Russians believe their spacecraft will crash back

:24:41.:24:47.

into the Indian Ocean. But no one can be sure. From experience it is

:24:47.:24:50.

difficult, almost impossible at this stage, to predict exactly when

:24:50.:24:57.

and where the object will come in. To be able to say at this stage you

:24:57.:25:00.

have to control the aircraft and we don't believe they have control of

:25:00.:25:04.

it. So what will happen to the spacecraft? It is orbiting every 90

:25:04.:25:09.

minutes between 51 degrees north and 51 degrees south, so it could

:25:09.:25:14.

land anywhere in between, most likely in the ocean. But the zone

:25:14.:25:18.

just includes southern England below the M4 corridor. Most of the

:25:18.:25:22.

spacecraft will burn up as it falls to earth but some components matter

:25:22.:25:26.

more than others. The tanks, filled with fuel for the long journey to

:25:26.:25:33.

Mars, should leak and burn off long before they reach the surface. The

:25:33.:25:36.

moment European spacecraft blew up while falling to earth. This was

:25:36.:25:40.

meant to happen and generally there is very little risk to anyone on

:25:40.:25:44.

the ground. The bigger danger is space junk damaging the satellites

:25:44.:25:50.

that we depend on. Anything, even as small as a cherry, going up

:25:50.:25:53.

17,500 miles an hour, which they are going around in orbit, but can

:25:53.:25:57.

be similar to an explosion of a hand grenade right next to your

:25:57.:26:01.

satellites and even a small pieces caused problems. The Russian

:26:01.:26:08.

spacecraft was designed to land on Bob Ross, and of Mars. -- on Phobos.

:26:08.:26:12.

It would have been a scientific triumph. Instead the world is now

:26:12.:26:18.

waiting for a crash. Let's hope that debris lands in the

:26:18.:26:22.

ocean. Now the main stories, which has

:26:22.:26:27.

been confirmed. While we have been on air. The French Finance Minister

:26:27.:26:32.

has confirmed that his country has lost its triple-A credit rating,

:26:32.:26:36.

the Standard and Poor's agency has cut fans's rating by an entire

:26:36.:26:45.

point to just do Belem. -- France. The finance minister has said there

:26:45.:26:48.

will be no new austerity measures despite the downgrade. Very

:26:48.:26:53.

disappointing news for France, Justin. Next, the weather. From me,

:26:54.:27:01.

Zeinab Badawi, goodbye and enjoy Hello, you got the idea today. Keep

:27:01.:27:05.

the thought in your head. It is the sort of weather we will get through

:27:05.:27:08.

the weekend. A widespread frost tonight but tomorrow the first

:27:08.:27:12.

lifts and we will get spells of bright winter sunshine in most

:27:12.:27:16.

areas. High pressure dominating the scene across the UK, keeping the

:27:16.:27:20.

mild Atlantic air at bay. It will be the case over the weekend and

:27:20.:27:25.

into the early part of next week. The frost clears. There will be fog

:27:25.:27:28.

which will take a little time to clear that it should eventually go.

:27:28.:27:31.

Patchy cloud at times in the west of the UK but across northern

:27:31.:27:35.

England and the eastern side of England, long spells of sunshine

:27:35.:27:39.

into the afternoon. Not particularly warm. Six Celsius in

:27:39.:27:43.

London, near the January average. More of a breeze across south-west

:27:43.:27:47.

London -- across south-west England and Wales, just drifting some cloud

:27:47.:27:51.

through. Keeping temperatures higher, seven or eight Celsius.

:27:51.:27:55.

Across mid-Wales, temperatures stay below freezing. The Northern

:27:55.:27:59.

Ireland, not a bad day, the cloud will break up to allow spells of

:27:59.:28:03.

sunshine through but the breeze will make it feel chilly, coming in

:28:03.:28:08.

from the south-east. Six Celsius. Cloud across western Scotland and

:28:08.:28:10.

across the higher ground temperatures remaining below

:28:10.:28:14.

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